Rising gold prices provide sparkle to diamond sales

Rising gold prices provide sparkle to diamond sales
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First Published: Wed, Sep 30 2009. 09 09 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Sep 30 2009. 09 09 PM IST
Mumbai: Not everyone is complaining about the rising price of gold. Diamond jewellery makers in India are making the most of an unprecedented rise in gold prices and have seen sales rising smartly this festive season.
With gold prices above the key level of Rs15,000 per 10g, investing in the yellow metal—traditionally a safe-haven asset—is not being seen as a great option. “Due to the high price of gold, people are looking at jewellery using less gold and more diamonds. This trend is a side effect of high gold prices influencing consumer choice,” said Vikram Merchant, manager, diamond sales and marketing at the India representative office of global miner Rio Tinto Ltd.
Demand for diamonds is seen outstripping supply in coming years, leading to an across-the-board appreciation in diamond prices and easy resale options in specific category of diamonds, industry players said.
“What is already happening is that people are viewing large stones, one carat plus, and special diamonds like fancy colours, for instance our rare pink diamonds, being considered as valuable investment options,” Merchant said.
“With long-term demand projected to outgrow supply, there is strong price growth potential,” Merchant added.
“The return value on diamonds has been steadily rising. Diamonds are getting certified by third-party labs which is a guarantee for the customer that diamond can be traded as a commodity and it shows the value to it,” said Prasad Kapre, co-chairman, gem and jewellery, at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Top Indian jewellery firms say volatile gold prices have resulted in flat volume growth for gold products and has aided a shift towards higher margin diamond products.
“We are growing a healthy 30% in diamond sales over last year,” said Sandeep Kulhalli, vice-president, sales and marketing, at the jewellery division of Titan Industries Ltd. “Gold (jewellery) is growing in value terms, of course, because gold rates having gone up, but in grammage terms it is nearly flat, we are not growing much.”
Gold typically has a higher share of a jewellery maker’s revenues than diamonds, but that is changing, analysts said.
Another top jeweller, Gitanjali Gems Ltd, which sells jewellery under the Gili, Nakshatra, Asmi and D’Damas brands, has seen diamond sales rise faster than gold products.
“Diamond sales are up by 20-25% over last year. Diamonds are doing very well and better compared to gold. Gold is also up value wise though volumes are flat,” said Mehul Choksi, chairman of Gitanjali Group.
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First Published: Wed, Sep 30 2009. 09 09 PM IST
More Topics: Gold | Prices | Diamond | Sales | Rio Tinto |